His racing suit unzipped down to his waist, Tony Stewart walked glumly out of Atlanta Motor Speedway with two issues still hanging over him. ”Hopefully this is the step in the right direction for what he needs to get better,” said Sprint Cup driver Denny Hamlin, who finished third in Atlanta. ”We’ll go on to Richmond and hope we can do better there.” After sitting out the last three Cup races, his team saying he needed time to grieve, Stewart got off to a strong start in Atlanta.
There is pressure that comes with being part of the powerful Hendrick Motorsports team with NASCAR superstars Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. For Kasey Kahne, the pressure grew as he feared he would be the only driver on the team left out of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. ”That was just an unbelievable way to make the Chase,” Kahne said.
Russell Henley either was playing down his chances or looking at Rory McIlroy’s name high on the leaderboard in the Deutsche Bank Championship. He was sitting atop a crowded leaderboard at the TPC Boston, which is becoming standard fare for these FedEx Cup playoffs. Henley ran off five birdies in a seven-hole stretch around the turn and added a late birdie for a 6-under 65. Henley has won in each of his two seasons on the PGA Tour.
Tony Stewart climbed from his battered car, took a big gulp of water, and surveyed the damage. In his first event since his sprint car struck and killed a fellow driver, Stewart slammed the wall twice and settled for a dismal 41st-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, leaving him in a must-win situation next weekend at Richmond to make NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. ”I wish we could have had a better effort and a better finish for him,” crew chief Chad Johnston said. ”We’ll go on to Richmond and hope we can do better there.” When Stewart pulled his No. 14 car into the garage, he stayed behind the wheel while his crew jacked it up and went to work.
Patrick’s story was one of success in the Oral-B USA 500 as she rallied from a 27th-place starting spot for a sixth-place finish, her career-best in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. “Well, I got that in-car camera out of the car and I’m pretty sure that’s why we had a good weekend because we had it for four weeks in a row,” Patrick said.
Austin Ernst won the LPGA Tour’s Portland Classic on Sunday with a par on the first hole of a playoff against South Korea’s I.K. Kim. It was the first professional victory for the 22-year-old Ernst, who shot a 5-under 67 in the final round to get to 14 under at Columbia Edgewater. A year ago as a rookie in Portland, Ernst shot a third-round 62 on the way to a ninth-place finish. In Ernst’s mind, Columbia Edgewater was a likely place for her first career win.
. – American Russell Henley took the lead but Rory McIlroy loomed large, just two strokes behind after the third round at the $8 million Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Massachusetts on Sunday. Henley dominated the par-threes to card a six-under-par 65 and jump to the front at 12-under 201 on a day of low scoring in ideal conditions at the TPC Boston. He edged one shot ahead of compatriot Billy Horschel (67), while world number one McIlroy made his presence felt with a sizzling 64 to join Australian Jason Day (69) and American Chris Kirk (64) in a tie for third at 10-under. Northern Irishman McIlroy, seeking his fourth PGA Tour victory in five starts, almost holed out at the 15th and 16th holes, tapping in from inside a foot both times.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run homer among his three RBIs and finished a double shy of the cycle, powering the San Francisco Giants past the Milwaukee Brewers 15-5 on Sunday to match a season high with their sixth straight win.
Fred Couples rallied to win the Champions Tour’s Shaw Charity Classic on Sunday, chipping in for eagle for a course-record 9-under 61 and beating Billy Andrade with a tap-in birdie on the first hole of a playoff. Couples broke the course record of 62 set by Bill Glasson last year in the inaugural tournament and matched by Tom Pernice Jr. and Bart Bryant in the first round Friday. The Hall of Famer won 15 times on the PGA Tour. Steve Lowery and Joe Daley tied for third at 13 under.
Jimmy Garoppolo will be carrying a clipboard for Tom Brady on the New England Patriots’ sideline this season. The Patriots traded former Brady backup Ryan Mallett to the Houston Texans on Sunday, elevating Garoppolo to the No. 2 job behind the two-time NFL MVP. Garoppolo was a second-round pick in this year’s draft – the highest coach Bill Belichick has ever selected a quarterback in New England.